TheBlackManCan heads back to the Peach state of Georgia to bring you another EXTRAordinary Black Men. This black man often states that “the same experiences and tools God has given me, I would like to share that with the people and those that will benefit from it.” In order to have a great testimony, one must go through great tests, trials and tribulations so we proudly present to you “Black Man Can” Award winner Andre Knighton CEO of God’s Child Multimedia Production. Andre continues to write the dream and the vision that God has given him. Brotha Knighton sits down with TheBlackManCan to discuss building a spiritual foundation, the importance of positive images in the lives of young black boys and what we can expect from this third major production.
TheBlackManCan: Andre, what provided the spark for you go into theater?
AK: The Father! Honestly, It started back when I was a freshmen in college and God told me to write what out my college experiences and turn it into a play form. I was always somewhat interested in theater but never gave thought to write a “stage play”. The play was called “Don’t Get Caught Up!” and when we showed it at our church in Gainesville, FL we had a great turnout. What caught my attention the most was the numerous of lives that was changed that evening.
TheBlackManCan: In life we can sometimes become hesitant when God shows up what our purpose is in life. How did you get over being hesitant to write, direct and produce your own play?
AK: At first I always considered writing a play or at least being involved in a play but never thought I would go through with it. However after praying, God revealed to me that He wanted me to write my first play, I was like “Oh no not me” but He said “Why Not You”. I didn’t know how to write or the format of writing of script but God told me to “keep writing”. As I did, it blossomed to an entire stage play and something that even to this day I give God the glory in writing everything I do because I know its Him that is the ultimate writer. On top of that, I knew that I would have to direct the play, even though I knew nothing about directing or anything close to it. But God gave me that desire to direct and since then I have enjoyed the whole aspect of being a playwright and the ability to help others and change lives through the platform of performing arts.
TheBlackManCan: You and wife Takara decided to relocate from Tampa, FL to Atlanta, GA to pursue great opportunities as well as many obstacles. What were some of those obstacles and how did you overcome them to reach opportunity?
AK: Me and my wife relocated after graduating from college at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL and one of the major obstacles was getting establishing a network and developing that “support system”. During our time in Gainesville, we had a great following and great support system with our church, Showers of Blessings. God opened a door through the play we did entitled “Addiction: No One Knows But Me” and we were holding auditions for a Pastor in the play. We auditioned our current Pastor, Apostle Fredrick Thomas and eventually created a partnership with their ministry, Bless The House Ministries to where our support system and network has opened up huge opportunities for us.
TheBlackManCan: Why is it important to people to build a spiritual foundation and how has it helped you in life?
AK: I must say it is VITAL to have your personal relationship with Christ because it is not only your solid foundation, but He is the true ultimate source where we draw our strength and direct our path because He is the Creator! Who else would know you than the Father Himself? My walk with Christ has allowed me to know my spiritual identity and purpose here on this Earth and has allotted me to touch lives and make a true difference in the people I come in contact with daily.
TheBlackManCan: You live by scriptures 1 John 1:14 and Philippians 4:13. Tell us what each means in your own words.
AK: My apologies its actually 1 John 2:14! 1 John 2:14 especially the last part of that scripture where it says “I write to you, young men because you are strong, and the Word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” To me that says a lot, especially as a young man growing up even now because that part alone breaks a lot of negativity and the stereotypes that are placed upon us. We tend to believe what the world says about us and not what our Heavenly Father says about us.
For Philippians 4:13, to me it says that no matter what situations we may face or struggles we may come up against, we can do everything through Christ because it is Him that gives us that strength. Too many times in our culture we are taught independence and self-sufficiency and not dependency upon Christ.
TheBlackManCan: In 2005 your started God’s Child Multimedia Productions and birthed the play “Don’t Get Caught Up!” What is the mission and vision for your production company?
AK: When God gave me the vision of God’s Child Multimedia Productions, He showed me everything from the plan to even the logo. I originally though that God’s Child would consist of stage plays and film production. But of course everything is a process and growth is a process as well. Recently around Christmas time last year God brought to my attention on God’s Child Multimedia. He asked me “What is Multimedia?” I told Him I don’t know! (smile). However through revelation with our team and our Pastors, God showed me that I have a multimedia platform that can empower the community through civil and human rights in the arts. Now our mission is that “We are more than entertainment”, meaning we empower our community by offering acting/dancing classes and an array of multimedia services.
TheBlackManCan: What can viewers expect from your third major production titled Addition? What does it debut?
AK: Viewers can expect from Addiction a powerful, dramatic yet Christ infused production that make you laugh and cry but at the same time it will make you think. Addiction focuses on a group of characters who realize that only through Christ they can be set free from bondage. The production targets those that face addictions not only on the outside of the church but inside of the church as well. Addiction stageplay will debut Fall/Winter of this year (2012).
TheBlackManCan: You recently were awarded the “Black Man Can” Award for Faith/Spirituality. How did it feel to win this inaugural award?
AK: Winning the Black Man Can Award means so much because it allows me to inspire young black men that they can achieve and do great things for the Father. That the stereotypes that are placed upon doesn’t have to apply to you, that you are a Black Man that Can!
TheBlackManCan: Where do you see yourself and Gods Child Multimedia Productions in the next five years?
AK: I foresee God’s Child Multimedia to be an impeccable force in the entertainment industry and performing arts. Also through our performing arts school, Zion Nation Performing Arts Institute, we will be able to help young men and women achieve through the arts on a national scale.
TheBlackManCan: Why is it important for young Black Males to see positive images of themselves?
AK: It is very important for our young Black Males especially in this generation because they are a future voice. Our young men see so much negativity of a Black Man in media, in violence and in the music we hear to where its hard to see positive young black men that are making a difference. The way we see ourselves maps out our identity and purpose in life and if you grew up not knowing who you are or your purpose than it becomes damaging to our young black men.
TheBlackManCan: What words of advice do you have for young black males of today?
AK: I must say that you develop a relationship with Christ, first and foremost because He will guide you in the way the you should go. Secondly I would say to stay focused and don’t give up. Find a passion or a gift that you have, maybe its in film, music or whatever the case maybe and strive for it. Don’t let the negativity influence who you are and don’t wait for the change to happen, you be the change to help make a difference.
Visit God’s MultiMedia Production -> http://www.godschildmmp.com
Our mission is to actively promote a positive black male image. Welcome to the Spotlight: League of EXTRAordinary Black Men. Here, we spotlight black men weekly who are having a positive impact in communities across the country. These men are actively promoting a positive black male image each and every day. If you know a man that should be spotlighted please send an email to email@example.com In that email please state who you are and why you are nominating this individual. Please leave your contact information and the contact information of the individual you are nominating.